Admissions

Up with People’s driving purpose is to use the power of music and social action to empower young people to be positive agents of change and build a more hopeful, trusting, and peaceful world. Our touring cast acts as a catalyst to inspire people and communities to embrace their ability to act as global citizens, celebrate diversity, and forge connections with different cultures. We aim to impact communities and youth around the world with a message of hope, optimism and faith in our common humanity.
We accept young adults ages 17 – 29 who have a high school diploma or the equivalent. You must also have some proficiency in English. We look for future cast members who are open-minded, service-oriented, adaptable, have an interest in the performing arts, embrace diversity, have a strong work ethic, and are in good physical and mental condition.
Up with People was founded on the belief that throughout history, music has been a powerful force in uniting cultures and driving social change. The musical production is a core component of the program for uniting people and communities across the globe. All participants are involved with every element of our stage production, and play an important role in bringing our professional show to life in each community. However, no audition or prior performance experience is required for acceptance. If you have vocal, instrumental music talent or dance abilities, you may enjoy using them in the musical component of Up with People.
Up with People offers both single semester and full year tour options. Each semester begins with a 4-week orientation program in Denver, Colorado, USA followed by a 14 to 15-week tour that will take you to at least 2 continents and an average of 4 -5 countries. Programs begin every January and July.
The program fee for a single semester is $17,450, and a full year is $27,350. To support you in managing your program fee, Up with People offers a wide variety of scholarships and grants for eligible cast members. We also have crafted a fundraising guide to assist incoming participants in finding creative ways to secure financial support.
Yes, we have both scholarship and grant programs available. Every accepted cast member has the chance to apply for a scholarship during their enrollment period. Scholarships range from $500 – $5000 and are awarded based on a variety of criteria. In addition, UWP has several tools to support future participants in fundraising to help cover the program fee. Click here to learn more about scholarships and fundraising options. Up with People students who enroll in the Academic Credit Program option and who are also current university students in the United States may also be able to apply for federal financial aid awards and select scholarships toward the UWP program fee.
The Up with People program is a unique, multi-faceted educational experience that uniquely delivers learning via four main program components: International Travel & Cultural Immersion, Community Action, Performing Arts, and Experiential Education, & Professional Development. Our cast member’s education is supplemented with a rich curriculum with units in Interpersonal Communication, Cultural Awareness, Leadership & Group Development, and Global Citizenship. Our experiential approach gives cast members hands on learning that would be hard to find anywhere else. In addition, more professional development opportunities are available through internships and assistantships throughout the tour.
Yes, all participating cast members have the option of enrolling in our optional academic credit program. Eligible cast members can earn up to 12 credits each semester of the program. Learn more here.
Throughout our 50+ year history, participants who have traveled in UWP have developed extensive leadership, communication, intercultural, and global citizenship skills, all of which are crucial in finding success in today’s complex and interconnected world. In addition to the main education program in which all cast members participate, during your tour, you will have the chance to apply to be a part of a targeted internship and assistantship program. Our 22,000+ alumni have gone on to become enthusiastic leaders in their communities, their businesses, and the world. Click here to read the profiles of some of our successful alumni.
No. Cast Members are required to provide proof of health insurance coverage as part of the enrollment process. In addition, each student is responsible for securing their own international health insurance and is responsible for personal medical expenses incurred while on tour. Up with People has several insurance options you can consider.
One of the most rewarding parts of your journey will be living with host families in each community you visit. During your week-long stay you will gain insight into your host family’s lifestyle, interests and traditions as well as have a unique opportunity to share your culture, experiences, and perspectives. Often, you will be paired with another UWP cast member, but, occasionally, you may be hosted in a family alone.
Your staff will prepare you for this cultural immersion before traveling into another country by hosting workshops that will introduce you to the country's traditions and culture, such as food, transportation, language, and other important information. You will often have fellow cast members that represent the countries you will visit, and they are actively involved in advance cultural preparation. You will adapt to various situations while learning about different cultures and making the most of each unique experience.
You will need a passport, valid for at least six months after the end date of your program. Depending on your native country, you may need visas to enter the various countries on your tour. Once you've been accepted to the program, we will provide you all the information you need to secure the appropriate visas. Be sure to start the process early, because it may take several months to secure your credentials.
Each tour includes multi-continent travel to various regions of the world. Actual tour destinations will vary each semester and final tour destinations are not confirmed until approximately two months prior to student arrival. Recent tours have included stops in the United States, Bahamas, Belgium, Bermuda, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Mexico, Japan, The Philippines, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and Taiwan. Click here to see our Current Tour Schedule or to view examples of Past Tour Schedules.
Applying is easy. Our simple two-step application process includes an online application and an in-person, internet, or phone interview. Click here for more application details and to APPLY NOW!
UWP processes applications on a rolling basis with no specific application deadline for each program. We recommend you begin the application process as soon as possible for the program(s) in which you'd like to participate. We typically have applications open for the next four upcoming tours. You will receive email notification of your status approximately 2-4 weeks after you have completed your online application and interview.
 

Alumni

We’ve missed you! Come see us on tour! We love having our alumni in the audience. Even better, as host families, sponsors or volunteering alongside our current cast members. To see where Up with People will be traveling over the next few months, check out our Tour Schedule. We regularly tour within the USA, Mexico and Europe but are always open to exploring tour opportunities in every part of the world. Our alumni play a huge role in creating opportunities for tour sponsorships. If you are interested in working with Up with People to bring a student group to your city, simply complete and submit the information on the Contact Us form and it will be directed to the appropriate staff member.
The best way to start is by using the Search Alumni function on the UWPIAA website. You can also contact your Cast Representative or Era Rep for assistance. If you don't know who currently holds these roles, see the Board of Governors page on the UWPIAA website for further help. At Up with People, please submit your request on the Contact Us form and it will be directed to the appropriate staff member.
While the UWPIAA is an independent nonprofit organization with a separate but compatible mission than that of Up with People, the two organizations partner closely together to support our missions. UWPIAA's primary focus is to serve alumni. Up with People's primary focus is the delivery of its global education experience. To help support our partnership, an UWPIAA Board of Governors member serves on Up with People’s board of directors, and vice versa. To learn more about the UWPIAA here.
In addition, UWPIAA supports the participation of relatives of alumni in the Up with People program by awarding scholarship money towards the first semester tuition for a legacy student. A legacy student is defined as someone who is a brother, sister, step-brother, step-sister, brother-in-law or sister-in-law, daughter, son, step-brother or step-son, cousin, niece or nephew, granddaughter, grandson, step-granddaughter or step-grandson of an alumnus/a! Details about this scholarship can be found here.
Reunions typically take place in July or August of each year. Reunions are organized and hosted by the UWPIAA and a fantastic group of alumni volunteers who work tirelessly to ensure the reunion experience is great for all who attend. Our Up with People staff plays a significant role in every reunion, responsible for select events, providing production support and supporting the UWPIAA team when needed. For more information on the reunion events, click here.
Alumni are welcome to contact any member of the UWP team at any time. Tim Lane is the VP for Alumni Engagment and has primary responsibility for Alumni Relations activity and communications. To update your contact information, use the Contact Us form on this site or email Tim at tlane@upwithpeople.org or Laura Motooka at lmotooka@upwithpeople.org. For questions about Up with People Admissions, contact Beyah Rasool at brasool@upwithpeople.org.
We want to stay in touch with you! Your information within our alumni database may be incorrect. Please send us your most updated contact information by using the Contact Us form on the website, or send an email directly to our Database Coordinator Laura Motooka at lmotooka@upwithpeople.org. The UWPIAA and Up with People alumni databases are currently separate but we are collaborating to exchange information on a regular basis to ensure both organizations have correct Alumni details and plan on developing one database. For now, we recommend contacting either organization to update your contact information when it changes.
In order to meet the varying needs of our international cast members, Up with People currently offers both a one semester and two semester tour option. Cast members returning for a second semester will have expanding learning and leadership opportunities within the cast.
 

Donors

Yes! Up with People is a registered 501(c)(3) organization and, as such, gifts to UWP are tax deductible for all U.S. taxpayers. Please note that payments made towards a specific cast member's tuition are not considered tax deductible. Therefore, no gift receipt is provided.
Yes. Simply indicate the amount you wish to be charged and for how many months, and your gift will automatically be charged to your Visa, MasterCard, American Express or other major credit card. Click here to contribute now.
Yes. On the online donation form, you can indicate that your gift is in memory or honor of a specific individual. Include the name and address of the family to which you would like an acknowledgment sent. Click here to contribute now.
Yes! We welcome your volunteer time and referrals of potential cast members, sponsors, host families and donors. Any other type of in-kind (non-cash) contribution is always welcome. In addition, you can support UWP by being a host family when a cast visits your community or by asking your employer to sponsor a cast to visit your city.
Any time is a good time to contribute to UWP, as we are continuously investing in our programs. Check with your employer about their matching program.
UWP’s tax ID number (also known as EIN) is 95-2563102. The EIN is an identification number used by the government to track donations made to non-profit organizations by individuals and corporations for the purposes of income tax reporting. If you have questions or require further documentation, please contact the Accounting Manager at svillegas@upwithpeople.org.
UWP's fiscal year runs from July 1- June 30. For more information about contributing, contact development and communications manager Megan Luebke at mluebke@upwithpeople.org or call +1-303-460-7100.
Most gifts and grants support UWP’s student program. This includes scholarships and tour costs. The scholarship fund awards partial scholarships to students who would not otherwise be able to participate in our unique program. If you would like your gift to be designated for a specific purpose, simply make a note of it when you submit your donation.
 

Host Families

Host families provide accommodation, most meals (breakfast and dinner except on performance days), limited local transportation, and an openness to exchanging customs and cultures.
As Up with People spends approximately one week in each city we visit, and we ask that a host family opens their home for the complete week.
Host families typically house one or two cast members, but this can vary based on the number of available beds in your home. The local Up with People representative in your city will work with you to determine the ideal number for your family.
Absolutely! During most days, from approximately 8am – 6pm, your host student(s) will be training, doing community service projects, rehearsing/performing or in other Up with People scheduled activities. The exception is scheduled host family days and these are always on the weekend. You will be given a schedule of their activities before they arrive.
Our program is conducted in English. While English proficiency will vary from participant to participant depending on their home country, all our participants are able to communicate in English.
Our participants are between the ages of 17-29 and come from all around the world.
Yes. Every host family receives two complimentary tickets to the show.
Yes. All UWP participants are required to carry their own health insurance. You will be provided information for how to reach the Cast Manager or other emergency contact should your host student require medical attention.
Yes. The curfew applies if students go out and are not with a member of your family or involved in an official UWP activity. In that case, the student needs to be home no later than midnight. However, students will take your personal, family rules into account and will return home earlier, if requested.
No. Students are not allowed to drive. Staff and promotion team members with valid driver's licenses may use your vehicle with written permission but we do not encourage this.
Click here to contact us about hosting today.   We’ll keep you updated on program developments and tour schedules. If you have general questions, contact info@upwithpeople.org. If you know there is a cast coming to your city soon, check out the Current Tour Schedule and contact one of the UWP Promotion Team members in your city.
Check out our Current Tour Schedule and visit the page regularly for updates as tour details are confirmed.
A host family day is your day to spend with your cast member(s) as a family. You may choose to show them around your city, include them in a family event or simply relax at home.
 

Parents

Yes! Please notify Up with People staff traveling with your student at least one month prior to your scheduled visit. Your student will have the appropriate contact information. We will assist you in making proper arrangements to ensure smooth operations of the program. All travel, hotel, and meal expenses are the responsibility of the visiting guest(s). Special circumstances may allow you time with your student away from the scheduled tour activities. However, this is subject to approval.
Yes, we ask all of our participants to be respectful and courteous to host families. The curfew applies if cast members go out and are not with a member of their host family or involved in an official UWP cast activity. In that case, the cast member needs to be back at the host family's house no later than midnight. However, students must always take into account the preferences of their host family, and return home earlier, if requested.
We have a list of alumni parents who are happy to speak with parents considering the UWP program for their son or daughter. Contact one of our Admissions staff in the Denver, Colorado office at admissions@upwithpeople.org for a referral.
The musical production is a core element of the Up with People program and all students participate in the production. Although musical talent and performance ability are welcome, they are not required. Program acceptance is based on the application and personal interview, rather than an audition. Click here for more information about the application process.
While there are no medical professionals traveling with the cast, there are plans in place to deal with medical situations. All staff have valid CPR certification and are trained in Up with People's emergency response plan. In every tour city, staff will have contact information for local physicians and medical centers in the event a participant requires medical attention.
Host families provide morning, evening and weekend meals for your child. If participants make other plans, on occasion, they are asked to communicate that to their host family, and they must cover the cost themselves. All other meals are provided by UWP.
The full refund policy can be found in the student handbook provided upon acceptance into the program. Only the program fees paid by the participant or others on behalf of the participant are refundable; any scholarships or awards will not be refunded. If a participant withdraws or is discharged at any time during the program, after completing the orientation and staging period, the maximum refund will be $120 USD for each week remaining in the program, as measured from the date of withdrawal or discharge. The $500 deposit is not refundable.
One of the most rewarding parts of your child's journey will be living with host families in each community they visit. They will share meals and gain insight into the daily lives of their host families.
Up with People participants are referred to as cast members, and each group is called a cast mainly because of the performing arts component. Cast members range in age from 17-29 and each cast consists of about 100 people from all over the world. A team of approximately 15 staff facilitators travel with each cast to plan educational opportunities and community service projects, organize and promote each cast visit, ensure success for each performance and create a safe, respectful and fruitful learning environment for both the participants and the communities we visit. Click here for application criteria.
Click here to read about current program fees, scholarships and other funding options.
 

Special Events

Up with People has decades of experience in producing and performing in special events across the globe. We realize that some clients do not have significant experience in event production, so our team of experts are here to help. Our team can, at your request, produce your entire event including technical, entertainment, scripting and post-production needs. If you are already working with another production company, Up with People can work with you and your producer to provide the entertainment portion of your event. Bottom line, we want to work with you to make sure your event is as impactful and successful as you dream it to be.
Up with People has produced and performed for thousands of events, both large and small, across the globe. Highlights include: 1976 Super Bowl X, Miami 1980 Super Bowl XIV, Pasadena 1982 Super Bowl XVI, Detroit/Pontiac 1986 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 1986 Super Bowl XX, New Orleans 1993 World Youth Day Opening with Pope John Paul II, Denver, Colorado 1995 National Soccer Championship Game, Portugal 1998 Rotary International Opening Ceremonies, Indianapolis, Indiana 2000 Holiday Bowl, San Diego, CA 2005 Expo, Aichi, Japan 2007 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2008 and 2011 Tournament of Roses Parade 2015 Kiwanis International 100th Anniversary Celebration 2017 Global Trade and Investment Forum with 55th President of Mexico, Vicente Fox
Our rundowns vary, and can be tailored specifically to your event. We typically produce a 25-minute show that features several original Up with People songs, coupled with entertaining medleys of popular music and high-energy international music and dance from around the world. No matter your event focus or theme, we can craft an appropriate run down that will help make your next event a resounding success.
The costs vary depending on the location and scope of your event. Please contact Chelsey Panchot, Sales Director, U.S., at cpanchot@upwithpeopleorg to request a customized quote.
 
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